Monthly Archives: December 2017

Ghosting, Circa 1912

You would think that with four possible grandparents I would know st least one or two, but no, mine are all dead or relinquished or vanished, especially my mother’s purported father, Victor Burns, said to be a dead English seaman … Continue reading

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Ancestral Dust and Lust

I’ve been immersed in dead family for a week. In between bouts of actual writing I scour old photo albums and scrapbooks and visit genealogy forums, and I feel like I’m drowning in ethnic family trees and gravestones inscribed in … Continue reading

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My Father Siggy

The father I see now, the awkward, distant man, doesn’t much resemble Siggy, the sunny dead end kid surrounded by adoring sisters, he wants to get ahead, they all do, leave the tenements, ditch the accent, forget the Old Country … Continue reading

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Fanny

Fanny is my father’s older sister, four years older in fact, and even though in middle age she is a bit stuck up and bossy, my father is fond of her because she was awfully good to him when he … Continue reading

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Esther

I want to be sympathetic but Esther makes it hard, she’s such a complaining whiny gossip. My father calls her a yenta, a fishwife, not complimentary terms. She’s his youngest sister, you could argue that because of circumstances she has … Continue reading

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Rita

Rebecca is a popular name for girls on the Lower East Side, a nice Old Testament name, seems like every Jewish family in the tenements has a Rebecca. And they all change their name, Americanize it, Christianize it, whatever. So … Continue reading

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Rachel

Rachel is the plain hard-luck sister who winds up doing okay in the end, now she is a happy cook, she makes Passover dinner for the family every year, doesn’t care if her kitchen is a mess and oh those … Continue reading

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